Remains of Pinoy killed in Taiwan bridge collapse to be repatriated

Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 06 2019 12:47 PM

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The remains of a Filipino fisherman who died in the collapse of a bridge here would be repatriated on Thursday, authorities said Sunday.

The Manila Economic and Cultural Office confirmed that Taiwan has granted clearance for the remains of Andree Serencio to be flown back to Manila on Oct. 10.

Serencio's remains would be brought back to the Philippines on the same day as George Impang's, another fatality in the incident.

Last week, a 140-meter long single-arch bridge tumbled down onto at least 3 fishing boats as a petrol tanker that was crossing also plunged into the water on Taiwan's east coast.

It was not immediately known what caused the collapse, which crushed 3 boats and set the tanker ablaze in the town of Suao. 

The rare incident shocked many in Taiwan, which is regularly hit by earthquakes and typhoons and has high building standards, prompting authorities to launch a review of all old bridges.

Serencio's wife Melanie visited the site of the bridge on Sunday, saying she needed to see the last place where her husband was alive to help her move on from his death.

“Mabigat ho kaya lang kailangan tanggapin. Kailangan harapin, hindi pwedeng talikuran eh," she said.

(It's hard but I have to accept it. I have to face it, I can't turn my back on it.)

Romeo Culanag was the last to see Andree before the bridge fell down on them. 

Culanag said they escaped death by jumping to the water, but Andree was left inside cabin under the ship when the bridge collapse.

“Bigla lang ang bagsak, hindi talaga siya makakatakbo," he said.

(It just collapsed, he really couldn't run for safety.)

-with a report from Agence France-Presse